Tonight marked the first time since the world rankings were created in 1986 that the top three ranked golfers on the planet missed the cut at a US Open though. 1, 2 and 3 all missed the cut in a major.
Dustin Johnson, the defending champion, who was trying to become the first player since Curtis Strange in 1988-89 to win consecutive Opens, failed to make it to the weekend, followed his opening-round 75 with a 73 Friday to finish 4-over.
Neither did McIroy and Day, though all three made their share of trips into the club-grabbing fescue as well.
Hideki Matsuyama was part of a five-strong group a shot further back after a brilliant 65, the Japanese star racing to the turn in 30 and picking up another shot on the 13th before having to settle for five closing pars.
Were they just not as sharp as they normally would be for a major?
And they had even more company.
"So it's going to be a dog fight, and be a U.S. Open over the weekend". The cut for the top 60 and ties was at 1-over 145, tying a U.S. Open record low set in 1990 at Medinah.
Rory Mcilroy, of Ireland, makes his way to the 12th hole during the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament today at Erin Hills in Erin, Wis.
That's what happened as Stricker made it exactly on the cut line.
As for why Johnson, McIlroy and Day struggled, one possible reason is that all have battled injuries or personal situations over the first half of the season that may have kept them from being tournament-ready. I'm going to play.
Justin Thomas hits absurd, winding birdie putt turned away from cup
Faced with 299 yards to the hole, Thomas hit a majestic 3-wood that landed just short of the hole before rolling eight feet past. Thomas, who shot a 59 and has three victories this season on the PGA Tour, also moved into the lead with his putt at 18.
"It was a good day for me", Stricker said. Kind of jam packed and within a few shots of the lead there. All three missed the cut.
He never would have guessed it.
"I've got a busy summer, so I'm excited to play a lot of golf, " McIlroy said. "And unfortunately, this didn't pan out".
It didn't for McIlroy, either. If only he had hit the fairways. And even that was frustrating. I birdied four of the last six - I probably could have birdied all of the last six. Rory McIlroy is a huge fan of the golf course. He missed almost two months at the start of the year when he was diagnosed with a slight rib fracture, and then the latest break after The Players Championship. "I think you've got a lot of great players on top of that leaderboard and you've got some guys that hit it forward, some guys that putt it great, some guys that do everything pretty good". "It's just a matter of getting it out of me and getting myself in the right frame of mind".
His schedule will pick up immediately.
"I'm playing the weekend".
With wide fairways and big greens, Koepka feels he can use his length to his advantage over other contenders. "The pins were a little bit trickier, I think". He won't play again until the British Open.
"Being out of position off the tee does not help", he said.
As for Johnson? His second son was born Monday and Johnson was headed to California to spend time with his family, change some diapers and presumably work on his putting. Unlikely as it seems, that was the last major he played on the weekend.